POSCO survey starts despite opposition from locals

"Eight survey teams have reached the plant site and initiated the survey after holding talks with the people," Jagatsinghpur Collector N C Jena said.
The officials surveys some houses in Nolia Sahi village, 20 kms from here.
The district administration was targeting to complete the survey work within 15 days, he said.

The Collector admitted that the people belonging to United Action Committee (UAC), a body supporting the project, had some difference over rehabilitation package but said the local MLA was trying to convince the people to allow the survey.
Jena said six teams would count betel vines in the three gram panchayat areas and two others would count prawn ponds and other livelihood sources of villagers.

To a query, he said survey at Dhinkia village, considered as the epicentre of anti-Posco agitation, will be conducted later. "We will not go for survey at Dhinkia village now. The entire area comprising three gram panchayats will be surveyed," he said.
Though the survey teams had reached the proposed project site this morning, the work was delayed by several hours due to opposition from residents in villages including Nuagaon and Gada Kujanga, sources said.

Rejecting the state government's formula of going ahead with the Rs 52,000 crore project by giving up private land in Dhinkia, CPI-backed Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) said the people will not vacate vast areas of fertile government land.
PPSS President Abhaya Sahu said people had been earning their livelihood by raising betel leaf vines and other crops for generations on this land.
In a bid to persuade the people to allow survey work, BJD MLA Prashant Muduli held talks with the villagers at Gada Kujanga panchayat area.

The district collector said the decision to start survey work today was taken following discussion held on Sunday between the government and representatives of United Action Committee (UAC) which promised to extend necessary cooperation for the exercise.

Though the South Korean steel major inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Orissa government in June, 2005 to set up the proposed 12 mtpa plant, it has not been able to acquire the 4,004 acre of land required for the mega project due to opposition from locals.

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